Kamehameha Schools acknowledged admitting a third non-native Hawaiian student, according to a letter from the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer posted on the school’s website.
The student, who was not named, will attend classes this fall and was picked from a wait list of 45 students because there were spaces available, the letter said. The letter does not say what campus the non-Hawaiian student will attend. The private school has campuses at Kapalama, Maui and the Big Island.
"Non-Hawaiian applicants who meet our admissions criteria can be admitted if vacancies exist after the preference is applied," the letter said.
The school said there were five additional spaces in the 11th and 12th grades after all applicants in the waitpool were admitted, allowing five additional native Hawaiian applicants in the sophomore wait pool to be admitted on Maui.
"I think they didn’t have a choice (under the school’s admissions policy)," said Roy Benham, a past president of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association.
"I think they did the right thing and they didn’t deny admission to any Hawaiian applicants," he said. "The good thing is that more students were admitted in the lower grade. You generally don’t get many students trying to get in the 11th and 12th grades."
Eight hundred new students will be starting at Kamehameha Schools’ three campuses next month. Kamehameha Schools was founded in 1887 by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha.
The school gives preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry, orphaned and indigent students who demonstrate the ability to be academically successful.
Kalani Rosell, who graduates from Yale University next year, was the first non-Hawaiian to graduate from Kamehameha’s Maui campus in 2007 after he was admitted in 2002 after a list of native Hawaiian students had been exhausted.
In 2003, Brayden Gay Mohica-Cummings, was allowed to attend the school’s Kapalama campus following a lawsuit filed by attorney John Goemans. Kamehameha rescinded its offer when his mother, who said she was adopted by Hawaiians, was unable to document his ancestry. The case was settled out-of-court in November 2003, when Kamehameha Schools agreed to let Mohica-Cummings attend the seventh grade.
In 2007, Kamehameha Schools settled another lawsuit with a Caucasian boy, who was denied admission, while the suit was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The student, identified only as John Doe, was paid $7 million. In 2008, Kamehameha sued John Doe, his family and his attorneys for releasing information on the settlement amount.